Georges Kern, on the crest of the wave

We spoke with the leader of Breitling in Miami, during the presentation of the Superocean collection, who highlights: “we have made a 360-degree turn in the brand, with the campaigns, the boutiques, but I think we have great potential. A change like never before.” He proudly points out and adds: “the key to the big firms is style, beauty, aesthetics, good taste as a hallmark of the big brands”.

For Kern “behind success there is no miracle, there is research, effort.” He tells us that “when you create a brand, everything is compact and makes sense, that’s Breitling, all the elements go together: advertising, boutiques, products… there is a coherence and an aesthetic, as happens with brands like Chanel or Louis Vuitton”. And he underlines: “luxury changed with Covid and you have to be prepared, the situation is completely different, cool & relax, is one of the keys to the brands of the future. Many of them are conservative, but the new luxury must be inclusive, and sustainable, core values ​​for luxury products, which are now present in our brand. The home office the way of dressing has changed, the style, fashion has totally changed and luxury must be inclusive in the sense of being accessible. today is a condition sine qua non that the products are sustainable, where the parts come from, who makes the watches, everything is important for the user. Covid has accelerated these trends.” Resounding sentence.

Luxury quality and service put Breitling in a good position and Georges announces that it will open new boutiques around the world in the coming years. He points out that just as car brands have a wide variety of models, the firm has different styles, we have classic and more avant-garde collections.

Now they present a collection full of colors that remind us of cheerful and happy days, “we are a brand of happy days and we use a bright palette of new colors like turquoise, iceblue, orange or mint green. Those happy hues can be 50% of our sales. Faced with traditional sectors, boring in the industry, which do not come out of silver, black or blue, we propose another range of colors”, explains Kern.

He is the leader of the great transformation of Breitling and has experienced it first hand. “It always has risks, you have to be happy in your changes, you can have doubts, finally we are going to a real change in the company that has improved, and I admit that I sweated in the first days. To be honest it was not easy, it was a very strong bet. Thank God everything started to work, with a good team and now I am happy with the company, we are a fun group, we have built and created something great, I should write a book”, he confesses. Another of Breitling’s virtues is the balance between tradition and modernity that Kern points out: “It’s a very fine line, in terms of design, how you make those changes, and how you transform it into a modern product, attractive to new generations, of the 1960s and 1970s to 2022. The Breitling Superocean chronograph has seen a big change and the new Navitimer today is a big leap.” Proud to present this modern take on a great classic.

Georges is passionate about pieces that accompany land, sea and air, he explains: “Well, I’m not a pilot but the universe of the air is exciting, I love the feeling of inspiration in old airplanes, I love airplanes, I’m happy flying in old airplanes, I like stories from the air, exciting and fascinating, very cool. And I like the logos, the story and the inspiration”, she points out with emotion and adds:“ when we decided to go into the surfing and we liked his world, I think that in the water there is a whole lifestyle, beach, sport, fun”. He talks about style as a common denominator of the big brands and gives us his vision of good taste: “It is very subjective, not everything makes everyone feel, for women there are brands that connect with them like Zimmermann or Azzedine Alaïa, they excite many of them, taste has to do with personality and style, but it’s very difficult, I think we have a very nice aesthetic and it’s key to a good brand. we have many styles, partners, celebrities, collections, inspirations and watches, but when you put them together in the boutique it is very compact and cohesive, there are common elements in diversity. That makes a brand,” he states.

Georges analyzes the new concept of luxury: “I have said that there must be different luxuries, that of excess, or classic luxury, the new luxury, casual, inclusive and sustainable, which is cool and relaxed. Before Covid, luxury as an excess was dominant, now the new luxury with these three elements, casual, inclusive and sustainable, represents a new concept, a new attitude”. In this universe of luxury, Kern sees our country with optimism, “Mexico is advancing, it is one of our most important markets in Latin America, one of the most sophisticated, with a public that vacations and another that is more urban, with enormous potential, we hope to re-launch the brand with Breitling equipment and stores, a success in Latin America.

He looks optimistically at the future of haute horlogerie: “Super sophisticated products will always continue, but many people do not like great sophistication, we want to be an attractive sector of mechanical watches, which will continue to grow and will be complementary to the digital world.” , such as film and television; a Château Lafite or a Coca-Cola is the same beverage market, but different products”, he concludes.

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